Riding With Recruits: Duke signee and McDonald’s All-American Wendell Moore
On Thursday, Wendell Moore was named a McDonald’s All-American as one of the country’s top high school boys’ basketball players.
It was another milestone achievement for the Concord Cox Mill High School star in a career full of them. Moore, a top 20 national recruit who signed to play for Duke, has won youth national championships, travel circuit championships and a gold medal with USA Basketball. He’s twice been named the N.C. Basketball Coaches Association Player of the Year, and he’s made back-to-back Associated Press All-State teams.
In the 1997-98 season, the Observer added an “All-Observer” award to recognize the best players from its 162-school coverage zone in North and South Carolina. Previously, the newspaper had named All-Piedmont (or all-region) and All-Mecklenburg teams for the top players in and outside of Mecklenburg County. Moore was named All-Observer Player of the Year last season.
Only four players have been All-Observer Player of the Year twice: West Charlotte’s Jason Parker (1997-98, 1998-99); Charlotte Latin’s Anthony Morrow (2002-03, 2003-04); United Faith’s Ian Miller (2008-09, 2009-10); and Providence Day’s Grant Williams (2014-15, 2015-16).
Moore has scored more than 2,600 career points. At his current pace of averaging 28 points, eight rebounds and 3.3 assists per game, he could become the third N.C. boys’ player to reach 3,000 career points, following former Eastern Alamance guard James’On Curry (3,307) and former Wilson Greenfield point guard Coby White (3,573).
And Moore can also make history with his team.
Since the N.C. High School Athletic Association went to four classes in 1960, there has never been a 3A team that has won three straight titles. The Chargers, ranked No. 2 in the Observer’s Sweet 16 and No. 18 nationally by USA Today, are the favorites.
Sweet 16: The area’s 16 all-time greatest high school basketball players
The Observer’s Langston Wertz Jr. has covered high school sports for the newspaper since 1988. With Cox Mill’s Wendell Moore finishing a stellar career, Wertz compiled a list of the area’s all-time greatest high school basketball players. Could Moore be joining soon?
Walter Davis, South Mecklenburg: Led his high school team to three straight state titles from 1970-72. While Davis played, South Meck lost four games in three years. Davis later played at UNC and the NBA. Was inducted into NC Sports Hall of fame in 1996. College: North Carolina (1973-77)
Devon Dotson, Providence Day: 2018 McDonald’s All-American was part of a 2016 team that won a state championship in what MaxPreps determined was one of the nation’s five toughest classifications to win. Finished career with 2,607 points, which makes him Mecklenburg County’s all-time leading scorer and top 10 in N.C. history. Dotson is a two-time Observer All-Mecklenburg Player of the year. College: Kansas (2018 - )
Eric “Sleepy” Floyd, Gastonia Huss: Before he starred at Georgetown and played in the NBA, Floyd led the Huskies to the 1977 N.C. 4A title, beating James Worthy and Gastonia Ashbrook in the finals. Floyd was inducted into N.C. Sports Hall of Fame 2016. College: Georgetown (1978-82)
Todd Fuller, Charlotte Christian: Named Mr. Basketball in 1992, Fuller led the Knights to a state title for head coach Bobby Jones and averaged 23 points, 16.3 rebounds, 4.3 blocks, two steals and two assists per game. College: N.C. State (1992-96)
Paul Grier, West Charlotte: Many older Charlotteans still swear that Grier, a 6-2 guard who graduated in 1956, was Charlotte’s best player ever. Said former Charlotte mayor and UNC basketball player Richard Vinroot: “I remember him being very good. Better than me - and I thought I was pretty good.”
Antawn Jamison, Providence: McDonald’s All-American was two-time All-Mecklenburg Player of the Year (1993-94, 1994-95). Was 1994-95 N.C. Associated Press Player of the Year and Mr. Basketball in 1995. Inducted into N.C. Sports of Hall of Fame in 2016. Jamison averaged 27 points and 13 rebounds as a senior, and finished his career as Providence’s all-time scoring and rebounding leader with 1,759 points and 857 rebounds. College: North Carolina (1995-98)
Bobby Jones, South Mecklenburg: Two-time Charlotte high school boys’ basketball player of the year became a U.S. Olympian, college All-American and five-time NBA All-Star. The 76ers retired his No. 24 in 1986. Jones led South Mecklenburg to a 1970 state title and was inducted into N.C. Sports Hall of Fame in 1989. College: North Carolina (1971-74)
Ian Miller, United Faith: Top 40 national recruit was All-Observer Player of the Year in 2008-09 and 2009-10. In the 2009 state final as a junior, Miller hit a 40-foot jumper at the buzzer to beat Raleigh Word of God 56-53 and deny the Holy Rams and future Kentucky star and NBA lottery pick John Wall a third straight title. The next season, Miller had 33 points, 10 rebounds, four assists and two steals as the Falcons beat Wilson Greenfield School 84-74 to repeat as state champs. College: Florida State (2010-14)
Anthony Morrow, Charlotte Latin: Mecklenburg County Player of the Year in 2002-03 and 2003-04. Was named N.C. all-state player of the year, Mr N.C. Basketball in the 2003-04 season. He led Latin to back-to-back state titles. Averaged 23 points, nine rebounds as a senior. College: Georgia Tech (2004-08)
Jason Parker, West Charlotte: All-America center led Lions to 30-2 record and top 10 USA Today national finish in 1999. Had arguably greatest NCHSAA finals performance in history (38 points, 12 rebounds, four blocks, five dunks) in an 84-67 win over Wilmington Laney. Two-time All-Observer Player of the Year (1997-98 and 1998-99), two-time AP state player of the year and Mr. Basketball in 1999. College: Kentucky (2000-02)
Scooter Sherrill, West Rowan: Named Mr. Basketball in 2000, Sherrill also was a McDonald’s All-American. As a freshman in 1997, Sherrill set a state record with 25 points in one half to help the Falcons win the 2A state title. He finished with 29 points and was the most valuable player. As a sophomore, Sherrill broke Jerry Stackhouse’s state sophomore scoring mark. Sherrill’s 2,469 career points rank top 15 in state history. College: N.C. State (2000-04)
Jamie Skeen, North Mecklenburg: Led Vikings to No. 15 national ranking in 2005 and N.C. 4A state title as a junior and another finals appearance as a senior. A two-time Associated Press all-state selection. In college, led Virginia Commonwealth on an improbable Final Four run in 2011. Colleges: Wake Forest (2006-2008), VCU (2009-11)
David Thompson, Boiling Springs Crest: Naismith Basketball Hall of Famer, known for his leaping ability, was all-state in 1970 and ‘71. He was the 1971 N.C. Player of the Year. Thompson was his school’s all-time leading scorer until 1994. At N.C. State, he became widely regarded as one of the best ACC and college basketball players of all time. College: N.C. State (1972-75)
Terry Whisnant, Cherryville: Led the Ironmen to 28-1 record and a 1985 state title. Whisnant had 30 points and 11 rebounds in the final, and left Cherryville as its all-time leading scorer (1,754). Whisnant, who signed to play football at North Carolina, averaged 20 points and 16 rebounds as a senior. His son, also named Terry, became the school’s all-time leading scorer.
Grant Williams, Providence Day (Tennessee): Two-time All-Observer Player of the Year led the 2016 Chargers to a top 20 USA Today national ranking, a state title win over NBA lottery pick Bam Adebayo’s High Point Christian team and a trip to the DICKS’ high school national championship in New York. Reigning SEC Player of the Year. College: Tennessee (2016- )
James Worthy, Gastonia Ashbrook: Inducted into the N.C. Sports Hall of Fame in 1997. Worthy graduated from high school in 1979 and became the school’s first 1,000 point scorer (1,577 career points). His Green Wave teams were state runners-up in 1977 and fourth in 1979. College: North Carolina (1979-82)